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‘FRANKEN SLIME’: New York Post Cover for November 17, 2017

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[VIDEO] Jonathan Haidt: The Globalist Blind-Spot

Jonathan David Haidt (born October 19, 1963) is an American social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. His academic specialization is the psychology of morality and the moral emotions. Haidt is the author of two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012). Read the rest of this entry »


‘Justice League’: Film Review

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Wonder Woman bails out a battle-fatigued Batman and Superman in Warner Bros.’ latest DC Comics-derived extravaganza.

Todd McCarthy writes: The increasingly turgid tales of Batman and Superman — joined, unfortunately for her, by Wonder Woman — trudge along to ever-diminishing returns in Justice League. Garishly unattractive to look at and lacking the spirit that made Wonder Woman, which came out five months ago, the most engaging of Warner Bros.’ DC Comics-derived extravaganzas to date, this hodgepodge throws a bunch of superheroes into a mix that neither congeals nor particularly makes you want to see more of them in future. Plainly put, it’s simply not fun. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice grossed $872.7 million worldwide last year, apparently about enough to justify its existence, and the significant presence of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in this one might boost its returns a bit higher than that.

Fatigue, repetition and a laborious approach to exposition are the keynotes of this affair, which is also notable for how Ben Affleck, donning the bat suit for the second time, looks like he’d rather be almost anywhere else but here; his eyes and body language make it clear that he’s just not into it. For his part, Henry Cavill’s Superman, left for dead and buried in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (we see the grave of Clark Joseph Kent more than once), isn’t resurrected until the second half, and it takes considerably more time for him to snap into action.

That leaves things mostly in the capable hands of Wonder Woman, who’s just as kick-ass as she was this summer but in a less imaginative, one-note way. The good news is that Jesse Eisenberg’s embarrassingly misguided Lex Luthor from the previous outing is nowhere to be seen.

So what are we left with here? With all the characters that need to be introduced, the virtually humor-free script by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon (who was brought on to complete directing duties after Zack Snyder had to leave for family reasons) less resembles deft narrative scene-setting than it does the work of a bored casino dealer rotely distributing cards around a table. Everyone is very downcast in the wake of Superman’s unimaginable fate and there’s naturally a new villain threatening to bring the world to an end, a big meanie named Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds). So Bruce Wayne, with Diana Prince’s assistance, must put together a new team to save the world yet again. Read the rest of this entry »


‘People Are Wondering How Harvey Can Live with Himself … The Answer is … a Lot of Drugs’

” …people are wondering how Harvey can live with himself after all he’s done — the years of sexually predatory behavior. The answer is: with the help of a lot of drugs.”

Emily Smith writes: Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was spotted aboard a commercial flight in first class with a huge haul of prescription drugs.

As revealed exclusively on “Page Six TV” Thursday, Weinstein was photographed opening a sturdy silver case filled with an astonishing amount of prescription pill bottles and medications as he sat in first class on a plane at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in December last year before his sexual harassment scandal broke — in full view of other passengers and the flight crew.

The source, who gave the picture exclusively to Page Six, said, “Many people are wondering how Harvey can live with himself after all he’s done — the years of sexually predatory behavior. The answer is: with the help of a lot of drugs.”

The source said that when another passenger on the plane who recognized Weinstein asked about his impressive pharmaceutical stash, Weinstein explained, “Oh, I’ve got a cold.”

A different source familiar with Weinstein over the years told us, “He always had that briefcase of drugs. He carries his whole medicine cabinet with him — even stuff he isn’t taking at the time.” Read the rest of this entry »


38 Women Have Come Forward to Accuse Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment 

Director James Toback told women that he could put them in movies. But then, they say, he sexually harassed them.

 reports: He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler. He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.

His opening line had a few variations. One went: “My name’s James Toback. I’m a movie director. Have you ever seen ‘Black and White’ or ‘Two Girls and a Guy’?”

Probably not. So he’d start to drop names. He had an Oscar nomination for writing the Warren Beatty movie “Bugsy.” He directed Robert Downey Jr., in three movies. The actor, Toback claimed, was a close friend; he had “invented him.” If you didn’t believe him, he would pull out a business card or an article that had been written about him to prove he had some juice in Hollywood. That he could make you a star.

But first, he’d need to get to know you. Intimately. Trust him, he’d say. It’s all part of his process.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: (L-R) Producer, writer and director Michael Moore and writer, director and actor James Toback attend Museum of the Moving Image Inaugural Envision Award Gala Dinner at Museum of the Moving Image on June 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Then, in a hotel room, a movie trailer, a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual, according to 38 women who, in separate interviews told the Los Angeles Times of similar encounters they had with Toback.

During these meetings, many of the women said, Toback boasted of sexual conquests with the famous and then asked humiliating personal questions. How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have? He’d tell them, they said, that he couldn’t properly function unless he “jerked off” several times a day. And then he’d dry-hump them or masturbate in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies and then walk away. Meeting over.

The women’s accounts portray James Toback as a man who, for decades, sexually harassed women he hired, women looking for work and women he just saw on the street. The vast majority of these women — 31 of the 38 interviewed — spoke on the record. The Times also interviewed people that the women informed of the incidents when they occurred.

Actor Alec Baldwin, left, speaks with director James Toback during a photo call for the film Seduced and Abandoned at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

As is often the case, none of them contacted the police at the time. When contacted by The Times, Toback denied the allegations, saying that he had never met any of these women or, if he did, it “was for five minutes and have no recollection.” He also repeatedly claimed that for the last 22 years, it had been “biologically impossible” for him to engage in the behavior described by the women in this story, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication. Toback declined to offer further details.

The women interviewed during The Times’ investigation offered accounts that differed from Toback’s recollections.

“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,’” actress Adrienne LaValley said of a 2008 hotel room encounter that ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg. When she recoiled, he stood up and ejaculated in his pants. “I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone.”

“In a weird sense, I thought, ‘This is a test of whether I’m a real artist and serious about acting,’” remembered Starr Rinaldi, who was an aspiring actress when Toback approached her in Central Park about 15 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Judgment Day: Harvey Weinstein Scandal Could Finally Probably Won’t Change Hollywood’s Culture of Secrecy

(Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

and report:  Harvey Weinstein’s implosion has been cathartic for Lauren Sivan, one of the dozens of women who have come forward in recent days alleging that the once-celebrated mogul was a serial sexual harasser and abuser. It’s a moment of justice and public condemnation that seemed all but impossible to imagine mere weeks ago when Weinstein enjoyed a position as one of the most powerful figures in media, a skilled operator whose connections stretched from Capitol Hill to Wall Street and whose sense of entitlement knew no bounds.

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“You reap what you sow,” says Sivan. “I know that he believed for years that he was untouchable, and a lot of people helped him be untouchable.”Weinstein’s precipitous fall has been stunning, if not a long time coming. He’s been fired from his own company, ostracized by his longtime friends and collaborators in the entertainment industry, transformed from power player to butt of late-night talk-show jokes, ditched by his wife and abandoned by the Democratic political leaders who once coveted his endorsement. The Weinstein Co. is weighing a sale to Colony Capital.

Along with Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and L.A. Reid, Weinstein is a sign that the old methods that stars and top executives used to cover up their sins isn’t working. Their praetorian guards of lawyers and spin-makers, their penchant for paying hush money to victims and making them sign draconian nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from going public, can no longer buy silence.

[Read the full story here, at Variety]

Hollywood’s veil of secrecy has been pierced, and such complicity and enabling may no longer be tolerated in a company town that has long protected its own.

“We are shining a bright light on aggressors and powerful offenders as an example to every other employee out there,” says TV commentator Wendy Walsh, one of O’Reilly’s accusers.

CREDIT: PETER STRAIN FOR VARIETY

As the chorus of accusers grows daily and as Weinstein finds himself isolated and abandoned by the A-list stars and directors he once claimed as friends, the conversation in Hollywood is pointing to a major shift. The hope in the industry is that the alleged abhorrent behavior by Weinstein and the other perpetrators will trigger some genuine soul-searching across the entertainment business and beyond.

Instead of simply inspiring big names in the industry to release anodyne statements that are light on substance and heavy on synonyms for deplorable, there’s an urge to have a deeper conversation about how to improve the climate and culture in Hollywood so whistle-blowers are supported and predators aren’t rewarded with corner offices, private jets and a license to operate with impunity. Read the rest of this entry »


The Dead Parrot Flaccid Penis Caper: ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ Writer Janis Hirsch

Comedy Writer Reveals Lurid Details of Harassment on Set — and Why It Cost Her a Job.

Janis Hirsch writes: In 1986, after only three or four years in Los Angeles, Garry Shandling called to offer me a job on his new show. I don’t remember how I knew Garry well enough for him to call me, but whenever I’d run into him at Hugo’s, we’d share a laugh or two, and once he asked me if I could help him find a snake man. Even though I lived in a snake-free condo, I found him one. And not to brag, but this was before Google.

Anyway, he offered me a job on Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, and even though all I knew was the title, that was enough for me. It started out as a lot of fun. A bunch of cool, smart guys and me working on a show where Garry didn’t just break the fourth wall but rode around behind it in a golf cart.

Once we got on the air, we were golden. I was, at any rate; I wrote two of first six episodes, both of which got a nice write-up in the L.A. Times, both of which said nice things about me, the writer, the only woman on staff. What could possibly go wrong?

The guys started excluding me from meetings: “Oh, we couldn’t find you”…at my desk. Then they started excluding me from the table, instead assigning me “the slit scenes” to write. Even though these scenes were the ones that featured the only female castmember, it didn’t occur to me exactly what slit they were referring to until one day in the ladies room.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

My mantra became, “I won’t cry until I get home.” It was amended to “I won’t cry until I get into the parking lot,” which became “I won’t cry until I get into the stairwell,” which morphed into “Fuck, I’m crying.’

One day, I was sitting in Garry’s office across the desk from him. A few of the writers and one of the actors were in the room, too. I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned, and there was that actor’s flaccid penis draped on it like a pirate’s dead parrot. Riotous laughter ensued from all but one of us. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] RAW: Trump Sashimi


Introducing: The Woody Allen Center for Sexual Health & Rehabilitation

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Weinstein Bonfire: Harvey Got Exposed Because He’s Not Profitable Anymore 

A collective jaw dropped this week as Asia Argento, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette and a host of other women joined Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan in speaking publicly about being harassed, mauled and even allegedly raped by Hollywood’s heavyweight gorilla, Harvey Weinstein.

Media outlets ironically wrung their hands and asked in big, bold block letters: How could this have gone on for so long? If everyone knew, why didn’t anyone say anything? And the inevitable: What can be done?

To answer these questions, let’s look beyond the Harvey-shaped elephant in the room. Behind the touted veneer of creative genius and imagination, the Hollywood studio system (an umbrella term that now encompasses movie studios, television networks, news organizations, tech companies and new media) was built on top of the cushions of the casting couch. And, as we’ve seen several times this year, that couch was never retired.

Priceless Hollywood memorabilia including CHARLIE CHAPLIN's bowler hat, JUDY GARLAND's ruby slippers from THE WIZARD OF OZ, and a dress worn by MARILYN MONROE in the infamous "flashing" scene from THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH are to go up for auction this month (Jun11). Veteran actress Debbie Reynolds has built up an enormous collection of iconic artefacts worth millions of dollars and is selling the haul after plans to set up a movie museum fell through. Other incredible pieces in the auction are Audrey Hepburn's frock from My Fair Lady - which is expected to fetch up to 00,000 (£187,500) - the sweater worn by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (0,000/£37,500), and Cleopatra's crown famously sported by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 epic. Monroe's shimmering, red sequined dress from Gentleman Prefer Blondes is expected to raise up to 00,000 (£187,500), Barbra Streisand's Hello, Dolly! gown is valued at 0,000 (£50,000), Chaplin's hat is worth 0,000 (£18,750), and the ruby slippers are 50,000 (£93,750). But the star attraction of the sale is the white pleated frock worn by Monroe in the iconic New York "subway" scene in The Seven Year Itch - it's expected to sell for a cool million (£1.25 million). The auction will be held in Beverly Hills on 18 June (11). (ZN/WN) The Wizard of Oz (1939) Directed by Victor Fleming Shown: Judy Garland (as Dorothy Gale), wearing the ruby slippers This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor are they intended to, convey to the user any ownership of Copyright or License in the material. By publishing this material, the user expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold WENN harmless from any claims, demands, or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material. Supplied by WENN.com When: 13 May 1939 Credit: WENN

I witnessed a lot at Page Six — only a fraction of which ever hit the paper (for a multitude of reasons). But I will share one incident in May 2004 that has always summed up for me how this industry really feels about women.

[Read the full story here, at the New York Post]

I had gone to dinner with a friend who was in town for the upfronts (the big annual congregation where television network executives fly in from Los Angeles and present their upcoming slates of new shows). He worked at United Talent Agency and was psyched when I scored us an 8 p.m. reservation at the hottest place in town, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, unfortunately, next to a table of three drunk and loud television executives, one of whom I knew headed up a cable network.

“I need a hooker while I’m in town,” one man quasi-yelled.

“Dude — the top-shelf whores go for $1,000 an hour, $5,000 a night,” the cable exec bragged to his friends.

“That’s all? All night?”

“All night — whatever you want — and these are working actresses.”

“No way — who are we talking about?”

The executive, in between ordering more bottles of Patron silver, proceeded to bray out the names of women who were indeed working actresses as well as models — including one woman who was cast in a show on his network. He was her boss.

“How do you think she got the job?” the executive joked, as the others high-fived him.
That incident always ate at me — it was the crystallization of just how lousy it is out there for women trying to either get a job, do their job or advance in one of the most powerful industries in America. Read the rest of this entry »


Twitter Says Rose McGowan Account Was Suspended Over Phone Number in Tweet 

Rose McGowan – Photo by Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock
New York Academy of Art Tribeca Ball, America – 04 Apr 2016

Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended because one of her tweets included a private phone number.

Todd Spangler reports: Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended because one of her tweets included a private phone number, according to the social-media company.

Over the past week, McGowan has been outspoken on Twitter in lambasting Harvey Weinstein, who she says sexually harassed her 20 years ago.

“We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan’s team. We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates of our Terms of Service,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.”

[UPDATE, 2:55 p.m. ET: McGowan, in her first post after her account was unlocked, quoted @TwitterSafety’s statement and asked rhetorically, in a reference to President Trump, “when will nuclear war violate your terms of service?”] Read the rest of this entry »


FBI Harvey Weinstein Probe Ordered by Trump Justice Department

The FBI has opened an investigation into disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has learned – on orders from Trump’s DoJ.

  • The FBI has opened an investigation into Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned on Wednesday 
  • Three women, including Actress Asia Argento and Lucia Evans, have come forward and claimed the producer forced himself on them sexually
  • The DOJ’s order is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein’s friendship with President Trump’s defeated rival Hillary Clinton
  • Weinstein donated heavily to Clinton and although she said she was shocked and dismayed by his actions, she hasn’t returned any of his contributions
  • The 65-year-old is said to be planning to depart for Europe in order to receive professional treatment and go to sex therapy in wake of the scandal
  • His hasty international departure sparks fears of a Roman Polanski-style situation, where he dodges prosecution in the U.S
  • Polanski has managed to avoid US officials since he plead guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old in 1978

Ryan Parry reports: The FBI has opened an investigation into Harvey Weinstein, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned.

DailyMail.com understands the move came at the behest of the Department of Justice, run by Donald Trump‘s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which instructed the bureau to investigate the mounting allegations leveled at the movie mogul.

While it is unknown whether the DOJ order came directly from Sessions, the move is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein’s friendship with Trump foe Hillary Clinton.

The move by the DOJ came amid rumors that Weinstein plans to head to Europe for sex rehab – leading to fears of a Roman Polanski-style situation where he dodges prosecution in the U.S.

The FBI can both look at whether he has committed any federal crimes in the U.S. and prepare extradition proceedings if he remains in Europe.

The FBI has opened an investigation into disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned

The FBI has opened an investigation into disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned

The move came at the behest of the Department of Justice, run by Donald Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The move is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein's friendship with Trump's rival Hillary Clinton

Among the allegations against Weinstein, which the FBI is expected to examine, is that he forced Lucia Evans, a student who wanted to be an actress, to perform oral sex on him in New York in 2004.

New York State has no statute of limitations on rape and criminal sexual acts – its legal term for forced oral or anal intercourse.

The move came at the behest of the Department of Justice, run by Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The move is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein’s friendship with Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.

Hollywood powerhouse Weinstein has traveled the globe promoting his movies and the belief is that he could have committed sex crimes in several countries.

So far five accusers have given accounts of attacks in France, while allegations of attacks in London have also surfaced – any of which could lead to charges there.

The FBI has field offices in both countries and could assist prosecutors there with their cases.

A spokesperson for the FBI in New York said: ‘We do not confirm or deny the existence of ongoing investigations.’ Read the rest of this entry »


LILO TO THE RESCUE: Lindsay Lohan Defends Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Feel Very Bad’

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Lohan faces the camera and offers support for the mogul rather than his alleged victims: ‘I think everyone needs to stop; I think it’s wrong. So stand up.’

Chris Gardner reports: On a day filled with explosive news about Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced and troubled film mogul has found an ally in Lindsay Lohan.

The actress attempted to throw water on the fiery Weinstein story by posting a series of clips on Instagram’s Stories feature. After introducing herself on her own account with, “Hi, this is Lindsay Lohan” followed by a wave to the camera, the 31-year-old announces that she is “home” in Dubai. Then came a plea to get everyone to stop.

“I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now. I don’t think it’s right what’s going on,” Lohan said. “I think Georgina [Chapman] needs to take a stand and be there for her husband.”

The latter statement came in a second clip added to the same story, this one with an angel emoji inserted under the name “Harvey.”

Apparently Lohan missed the breaking news from earlier in the day when the Marchesa designer Chapman, who has been married to Weinstein since 2007, announced to People that she was leaving him in the wake of a new batch of horrifying allegations published in The New Yorker and The New York Times. Chapman asked for privacy as she cares for the couple’s two young children. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” she said. Some of those women went on the record in today’s published reports, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Lucia Evans, Judith Godrèche, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Katherine Kendall and Dawn Dunning.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

In her clip, Lohan said that she was not among those hurt by Weinstein. “He’s never harmed me or did anything to me. We’ve done several movies together. I think everyone needs to stop; I think it’s wrong. So stand up,” she said, before signing off.

Wrong is a word that has been used many times, but on the other side of the fence by those who have spoken out against Weinstein’s alleged misconduct. Barack and Michelle Obama picked “disgusting” for their statement as they were just two of the many high-profile names who released statements today, showing how far-reaching this scandal is. Read the rest of this entry »


Introducing: The Roman Polanski Center

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Jon Hamm Reflects on ‘Mad Men’ and Don Draper at New Yorker Festival 

Sonia Saraiya writes: Navigating success after years as a working actor was a difficult part of the “Mad Men” experience for star Jon Hamm.

The actor reflected on the landmark 2007-2015 series and his performance as Don Draper in a wide-ranging Q&A Saturday night held as part of the New Yorker Festival.

Hamm told New Yorker articles editor Susan Morrison that the AMC drama was a transformational experience, personally and professionally.

“To have that kind of omnibus experience is once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,” he said during the session held at SIR Stage37. “Navigating the success, what the show became. that was the trickiest part,” Hamm added.

Now that the series has ended, Hamm told Morrison, he’s looking to branch out.

“The fun of being an actor is getting to different things” after playing Don Draper for seven seasons. “It wasn’t that I wanted to react against and play the opposite, but I definitely wanted to do different things,” he said.

Morrison asked Hamm about his comedy chops, showing clips from “Bridesmaids,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “30 Rock.” A self-described comedy geek, Hamm credited his creative journey from losing his mother at the age of 10 and eventually finding a nurturing environment in his “wildly progressive” St. Louis high school, John Burroughs School.

[Read the full story here, at Variety]

“We didn’t have cable TV,” he said. “You had to like, read books and listen to albums and cassette tapes.” Hamm cited Spy magazine, Monty Python, and comedians including Bob Newhart, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor as inspirations. He even liked Cheech and Chong, adding ruefully, “My grandmother did not like that one. It literally had a car-sized joint on it.” Read the rest of this entry »


Hugh Hefner Cause of Death Revealed

Hugh Hefner Died Of Cardiac Arrest 

A death certificate obtained by TMZ shows that Playboy creator Hugh Hefner died of cardiac arrest, with other conditions contributing to his death.

Hefner passed away last Wednesday at the age of 91.

According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, he was battling Septicemia, an inflammation of body tissues that results from an infection in the blood, and E. coli, a bacteria.

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Hefner attend Playboy Mansion’s Annual Halloween Bash at The Playboy Mansion on October 25, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Hefner attend Playboy Mansion’s Annual Halloween Bash at The Playboy Mansion on October 25, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)

The death certificate described the E. coli bacteria as “highly resistant to antibiotics.”

Hefner’s widow Crystal Hefner called him an “American hero” Monday. Read the rest of this entry »


Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner’s Legacy, Trump’s Masculinity & Feminism’s Sex Phobia 

Jeanie Pyun writes: With the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner on Sept. 27, cultural historian and contrarian feminist Camille Paglia spoke to The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview on topics ranging from what Hef’s choice of the bunny costume revealed about him to the current “dreary” state of relationships between the sexes.

Have you ever been to a party at the Playboy Mansion?

No, I’m not a partygoer!  [laughs]

So let me just ask: Was Hugh Hefner a misogynist?

Absolutely not! The central theme of my wing of pro-sex feminism is that all celebrations of the sexual human body are positive. Second-wave feminism went off the rails when it was totally unable to deal with erotic imagery, which has been a central feature of the entire history of Western art ever since Greek nudes.

So let’s dig in a little — what would you say was Playboy’s cultural impact? 

Hugh Hefner absolutely revolutionized the persona of the American male. In the post World War II era, men’s magazines were about hunting and fishing or the military, or they were like Esquire, erotic magazines with a kind of European flair.

Hefner re-imagined the American male as a connoisseur in the continental manner, a man who enjoyed all the fine pleasures of life, including sex. Hefner brilliantly put sex into a continuum of appreciative response to jazz, to art, to ideas, to fine food. This was something brand new. Enjoying fine cuisine had always been considered unmanly in America. Hefner updated and revitalized the image of the British gentleman, a man of leisure who is deft at conversation — in which American men have never distinguished themselves — and with the art of seduction, which was a sport refined by the French.

Hefner’s new vision of American masculinity was part of his desperate revision of his own Puritan heritage. On his father’s side, he descended directly from William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower and was governor of Plymouth Colony, the major settlement of New England Puritans.

But Hefner’s worldview was already dated by the explosion of the psychedelic 1960s. The anything-goes, free-love atmosphere — illustrated by all that hedonistic rolling around in the mud at Woodstock in 1969 — made the suave Hefner style seem old-fashioned and buttoned up. Nevertheless, I have always taken the position that the men’s magazines — from the glossiest and most sophisticated to the rawest and raunchiest — represent the brute reality of sexuality. Pornography is not a distortion. It is not a sexist twisting of the facts of life but a kind of peephole into the roiling, primitive animal energies that are at the heart of sexual attraction and desire.

What could today’s media learn from what Hef did at Playboy?

It must be remembered that Hefner was a gifted editor who knew how to produce a magazine that had great visual style and that was a riveting combination of pictorial with print design. Everything about Playboy as a visual object, whether you liked the magazine or not, was lively and often ravishing.

In the early 1990s, you said that Hugh Hefner “ushered in a revolution in American sexual consciousness. Some say that the women in Playboy come across as commodities, like a stereo, but I think Playboy is more an appreciation of pleasure of all kinds.” What would you add to his legacy today, if anything?

I would hope that people could see the positives in the Playboy sexual landscape — the foregrounding of pleasure and fun and humor. Sex is not a tragedy, it’s a comedy! [laughs]

What do you think about the fact that Trump’s childhood hero and model of sophisticated American masculinity was Hefner?

Before the election, I kept pointing out that the mainstream media based in Manhattan, particularly The New York Times, was hopelessly off in the way it was simplistically viewing Trump as a classic troglodyte misogynist. I certainly saw in Trump the entire Playboy aesthetic, including the glitzy world of casinos and beauty pageants. It’s a long passé world of confident male privilege that preceded the birth of second-wave feminism. There is no doubt that Trump strongly identified with it as he was growing up. It seems to be truly his worldview.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

But it is categorically not a world of unwilling women. Nor is it driven by masculine abuse. It’s a world of show girls, of flamboyant femaleness, a certain kind of strutting style that has its own intoxicating sexual allure — which most young people attending elite colleges today have had no contact with whatever.

I instantly recognized and understood it in Trump because I had always been an admirer of Hefner’s sexual cosmos. I can certainly see how retrograde and nostalgic it is, but at the same time I maintain that even in the photos that The New York Times posted in trying to convict Trump of sexism, you can feel leaping from these pictures the intense sizzle of sexual polarization — in that long-ago time when men were men and women were women!

My 1960s generation was the gender-bending generation — we were all about blending the genders in fashion and attitude. But it has to be said that in terms of world history, the taste for and interest in androgyny is usually relatively brief. And it comes at late and decadent phases of culture! [laughs]  World civilizations predictably return again and again to sexual polarization, where there is a tremendous electric charge between men and women. Read the rest of this entry »


Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner Dies at 91

Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine founder, and star of ‘The Girls Next Door’ dies at 91.

The iconic founder of Playboy Magazine Hugh Hefner died Wednesday at 91, the magazine announced Wednesday night.

The publisher of the quintessential men’s lifestyle magazine built an empire around the alluring business.

Playboy announced his death in a tweet.

“Life is too short to live someone else’s dream,” read a quote from the founder. Read the rest of this entry »


Mel Brooks: ‘Stupidly Politically Correct Society is the Death of Comedy’

Rozina Sabur reports: Society’s “stupidly politically correct” sensibilities will lead to the “death of comedy”, the veteran Hollywood comedian Mel Brooks has warned.

Brooks, known for his plethora of acclaimed comedy movies, said political correctness was becoming a stranglehold on comedians.

“It’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks,” he said.

“Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behaviour.”

The producer and director said that his iconic western parody Blazing Saddles could not be made in today’s political climate.

Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles Credit: Alamy

Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles Credit: Alamy

The 1974 comedy western starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder featured a black sheriff in a racist town.

Brooks said it was the racial prejudice portrayed within the film that was the mechanism behind its cultural significance.

“Without that the movie would not have had nearly the significance, the force, the dynamism and the stakes that were contained in it,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CNN Ends Segment After Panelist Says Boobs

Justin Caruso reports: CNN’s Brooke Baldwin ended a segment Friday after a panelist expressed his love for the “First Amendment and boobs.”

“I’m a first amendment absolutist and believe in two things completely — the First Amendment and boobs,” Fox Sports Radio’s Clay Travis said.

Baldwin asked the panelist what he meant, not sure if he said “boobs” or “booze.”

“You don’t love boobs, too?”

“I’m not talking about that on television because it’s irrelevant to the topic. It shouldn’t be brought up here,” former ESPN editor Keith Reed responded. Read the rest of this entry »


UC Berkeley ‘Opposing View’ Alarms Blaring As Conservative Speaker Arrives On Campus

BERKELEY, CA—UC Berkeley’s recently installed “opposing worldview” alarm system began blaring right on schedule Thursday afternoon, as conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro arrived on campus to deliver a speech titled “Say No to Campus Thuggery.”

As the noted author and news personality breached the campus perimeter, the piercing sirens began echoing across the campus, accompanied by an automated message telling students to “This is not a test. Please stay in your dormitories. We are currently in an active conservative situation. This is not a test.” Read the rest of this entry »


Hollywood is Suffering its Worst-Attended Summer Movie Season in 25 Years

A sobering reality has gripped Hollywood as domestic film industry revenue fell an estimated 16% during the all-important summer season.

The number of tickets sold in the United States and Canada this summer is projected to fall to the lowest level in a quarter-century.

The results have put the squeeze on the nation’s top theater chains, whose stocks have taken a drubbing. AMC Theatres Chief Executive Adam Aron this month called his company’s most recent quarter “simply a bust.”

Such blunt language reflects some worrisome trends. Domestic box-office revenue is expected to total $3.78 billion for the first weekend of May through Labor Day — a key period that generates about 40% of domestic ticket sales — down nearly 16% from the same period last year, according to comScore. That’s an even worse decline than the 10% drop some studio executives predicted before the summer began.

And the number of actual tickets sold this summer paints a bleaker picture, with total admissions likely to clock in at about 425 million, the lowest level since 1992, according to industry estimates.

No one can fully explain why. Studio executives, movie theater operators and analysts cited the usual explanations for the summer slump. There are the obvious reasons: Too many bad movies, including sequels, reboots and aging franchises that no one wanted to see. Some point to rising ticket prices, which hit a record high in the second quarter, according to the National Assn. of Theatre Owners. Then there are long-term challenges, including competition from streaming services such as Netflix and the influence of the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. How about all of the above?

What is clear: This summer was marred with multiple high-profile films that flopped stateside, including “The Mummy,” “Baywatch,” “The Dark Tower” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Sequels in the “Alien,” “Transformers” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchises also disappointed. (International ticket sales are helping to ease some of the pain.) Read the rest of this entry »


Please Stand By: Pundit Network News Report Update

Editor’s note: I’m traveling a lot this month, internet access is limited. Pundit Planet will be back with fresh news when the network is back online. In the meantime, check out our archives. And pray for Houston. Explore donation options here.


[VIDEO] How to Safely Watch The Eclipse or CNN 


[VIDEO] FULL SCALE NONSTOP GLOBAL PANIC: Cable News Anchors Frrrrreak Out About North Korea 


OH YES THEY DID: Super Villain Koch Brothers Are Secret Investors in Mega-Successful ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie

Steven Mnuchin brought in the right-wing power brokers, as well as Bill Gates, to help fund such Hollywood projects as ‘Dunkirk’ and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming ‘Ready Player One.’

Tatiana Siegel reports: Though they might be the most reviled figures among Hollywood’s liberal crowd, the Koch brothers have been a silent investor in Warner Bros.‘ slate of movies for four years.

wonder-woman-brochure

Sources say Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch — who are worth a combined $96.2 billion and wield enormous power in political circles as major backers of right-wing politicians — took a significant stake valued at tens of millions of dollars in RatPac-Dune Entertainment. Now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought the brothers in as investors as part of a $450 million deal struck in 2013 — a move that was never disclosed because RatPac-Dune is a private company.

Though Mnuchin is no longer involved with the slate financing facility, having recently put his stake into a blind trust in order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Koch brothers continue to be stakeholders in such films as Wonder Woman, Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One.

A RatPac spokesperson didn’t respond to a request. A spokesperson for Koch Industries says, “Charles Koch, David Koch and Koch Industries do not have any involvement with this investment.”

The brothers aren’t the only unlikely billionaires who have sunk money into the Warner Bros. deal. Sources say Mnuchin also brought in Bill Gates for an amount similar to the Koch brothers’. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Compilation of Liberal Media Freaking Out About Google Memo 


[VIDEO] REWIND: Breaking Vegas Documentary: The True Story of The MIT Blackjack Team


[VIDEO] White House Policy Advisor Stephen Miller Treats CNN’s Jim Acosta to a Humiliating Defeat

Stephen Miller TKOs Jim Acosta 

Rich Lowry writes: When Donald Trump’s policy adviser Stephen Miller stepped to the podium of the White House briefing room on Wednesday to defend a plan for reducing levels of legal immigration, Jim Acosta of CNN was aghast and let everyone know it.

Put aside that Acosta believed it was his role as a reporter to argue one side of a hot-button political issue (this is how journalism works in 2017). The exchange illustrated how advocates of high levels of immigration are often the ones who—despite their self-image as the rational bulwark against runaway populism—rely on an ignorant emotionalism to make their case.

At issue is the bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia to cut legal immigration by half. The legislation would scale back so-called chain migration—immigrants bringing relatives, who bring more relatives in turn—and institute a merit-based system for green cards based on the ability to speak English, educational attainment and job skills.

Offended by the idea of putting a priority on higher-skilled immigrants, Acosta wanted to know how such a policy would be consistent with the Statue of Liberty. When Miller pointed out that Lady Liberty was conceived as a symbol of … liberty and the famous Emma Lazarus poem added later, Acosta accused him of “national park revisionism”—even though Miller was correct.

At the dedication of the statue in 1886, President Grover Cleveland declared that the statue’s “stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression until Liberty enlightens the world.” His soaring oration did not include the admonition that so-called comprehensive immigration reform would henceforth be considered the only acceptable immigration policy for the United States.

[Read the full story here, at POLITICO]

Lazarus’ poem was added in a plaque in 1903. The words are not, as Acosta and so many others believe, emblazoned on the statue itself—the plaque is now displayed in an exhibition within the pedestal.

All of this might seem pedantic, but the underlying debate is over the legitimacy of reducing levels of immigration and whether it is appropriate to craft a policy mindful, above anything else, of the national interest. Miller clearly has the best of this argument.

One, making 21st policy in accord with late-19th century poetry makes no sense. We don’t ask, say, whether the naval appropriations bill is in keeping with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Building of the Ship” (“Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great!”)

Two, the cap on refugees in the Cotton-Perdue bill of 50,000 a year is in the ballpark of recent annual refugee numbers. We actually admitted fewer than this in the late-1970s and early-2000s, and the Statue of Liberty still stood … (more)

Source: POLITICO Magazine

During the briefing, Acosta insinuated that the White House wants to allow only immigrants from Great Britain and Australia into the U.S. because they can speak English.

During the briefing, Acosta insinuated that the White House wants to allow only immigrants from Great Britain and Australia into the U.S. because they can speak English.

CNN’s Jim Acosta claims victory in briefing beef with Stephen Miller: ‘He couldn’t take that kind of heat’

“I think what you saw unfold in the briefing room is that he [Miller] really just couldn’t take that kind of heat and exploded before our eyes,” Acosta said in an appearance on CNN Wednesday night, hours after the face-off.

Miller spoke to members of the White House press corps about a revised bill from Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas that would implement a merit-based point system for immigrants applying for legal permanent status. President Trump endorsed the immigration plan during a ceremony at the White House earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »


[TOYS] ROCKET RADIO MG-306: Pocket Transistor Radios Manufactured During the 1950’s & 1960’s

Great website focusing on the design and history of pocket transistor radios manufactured between 1954 and 1965.

Source: ROCKET RADIO MG-306

 


[VIDEO] Liberals, Media Rip Democrats’ New ‘A Better Deal’ Slogan 


[VIDEO] BREAKING NEWS: Jim Acosta Reports on Jim Acosta 


‘HE’S BAACK! World Stands Still for O.J. Parole Ruling’: NY Post Cover for July 20, 2017


[VIDEO] The Media Has Handshake Mania!


[VIDEO] BUT I AM ALWAYS RIGHT! How the Internet Tricks You Into Thinking You’re Always Right


[VIDEO] This Is Not Normal!


Kurt Schlichter: We Should Cheer CNN’s Ritual Suicide

cnn-handsupfakenews

Kurt Schlichter writes: If you ever had any doubt that Donald Trump was right that the mainstream media is the enemy of the American people, CNN corrected your inexplicable inability to comprehend this painfully obvious truth by choosing July 4th to threaten some guy for daring to make fun of Its Medianess Holiness. Apparently, if you dare defy the media it has the right to wreck your life – as long as you are an anti-Obama rodeo clown or a meme-making rando on Reddit. If you are a zillionaire like Anthony Scaramucci with the bucks to hire top flight law firms and Gawkerize its lame carcass – which I would have done in a split-second if CNN had lied about me the way it did about him – then you get a free pass.


Instead of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, CNN’s new motto is apparently “Confront the afflicted and settle with the comfortable.” Every time I see the CNN logo I hear James Earl Jones‘s voice intoning “This is CNN, and we suck.”

But actually, maybe we should all thank CNN for its work guaranteeing Trump’s second term.

CNN-Building-ap

Now, before we move on, someone is going to point out that the meme guy is kind of a jerk and said stuff that offends decent people. So? How is that the point? This is a multi-billion dollar media corporation using all its power to threaten an individual into not criticizing it. How is that ever okay? And don’t pretend for a minute this media extortion precedent gets limited to outlier Reddit guys. Normal Americans are next.

2017-07-02t162153z_1_lynxmped610ni_rtroptp_3_usa-election

The media babbles about “principles,” but as soon as they become inconvenient then out the window go those precious “principles.” A silly wrestling gif supporting the president “promotes violence against the media,” but a week before that funding a play where President Trump is stabbed to death was artful political commentary? That’s my objection to all this recent “principles” talk. Read the rest of this entry »


Lindsay Lohan Defends President Trump on Twitter: ‘Stop Bullying Him!’

LINDSAY LOHAN, AMANDA SEYFRIED ,  RACHEL MCADAMS ,  AND LACEY CHABERT

Seth Kelley reports: Lindsay Lohan defended President Donald Trump and his family in two tweets sent on Monday.

Lohan first responded to a screenshot of a Breitbart article about British baby Charlie Gard, who suffers from a currently incurable disease. His story has made global headlines and received Trump’s support after the parents raised money for the baby to undergo experimental treatment, despite the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling that the hospital can take him off life support.

“THIS IS our president,” Lohan wrote. “Stop #bullying him & start trusting him. Thank you personally for supporting #THEUSA” Read the rest of this entry »


DOXMAGEDDON: CNN Blackmails Reddit Creator for Forbidden Trump-Wrestling GIF

CNN-more.jpg

Bradford Richardson reports: CNN has come under fire for suggesting it will publish the identity of a private citizen if he behaves in a way that displeases the network.

Andrew Kaczynski, senior editor of CNN’s KFile, discovered the identity of the Reddit user who made a short video of President Trump tackling a man with CNN’s logo superimposed on his face to the ground.

CNN is withholding the man’s identity “because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again,” Mr. Kaczynski wrote in an article published Tuesday night.

“CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change,” he continued.

The video, taken from a 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment show in which Mr. Trump made an appearance, caused a firestorm when it was posted to Twitter by the president Sunday morning… (read more)

Source: Washington Times

cnn-trump-dox

 reports: If you too guessed the Redditor who had boasted he originated the CNN-bashing GIF used by President Donald Trump suddenly apologized for same because he found out CNN knew who he was — congratulations!

And, if you also guessed “HanA**holeSolo” has pleaded with CNN not to reveal his identity because he’s scared for his personal safety, and because it would embarrass him to be outed as the person behind the GIF and various anti-Semitic and racist Reddit rants  – go to the head of the class.

DD8cjraUwAASFld.jpg

CNN reported Tuesday night it has agreed not to reveal the guy’s name, but reserves the right to do so should he ever repeat his “ugly behavior on social media.”

“HanA**holeSolo” initially boasted he originated the GIF behind Trump’s tweet in which Trump is seen pounding on the head of a man whose face has been swapped for the CNN logo.

HAS first shared the GIF last Wednesday; CNN reports it could find no earlier instance of the GIF that subsequently was edited to add sound before being tweeted by Trump on Sunday.

meme-CNN.jpg

After Trump’s tweet, “HanA**holeSolo” took a victory lap, via Reddit:

“Holy s—!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my s—post but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!”

CNN reports its KFile identified the man, using information he had posted on Reddit and Facebook. On Monday, KFile reached out to the man by email and phone, but he did not respond. Read the rest of this entry »


Disneyland Plans a PC Makeover for its Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction

la-fi-pirates-makeover-20170702

Disneyland has decided to remove the bride-auction scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Hugo Martin writes: At Disneyland, pirates can still drink, pillage and fight.

But the swashbuckling tradition of abducting and exploiting women is being sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Call it a sign of the times.

The park plans to revamp a section of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that depicts a parade of women being put on the auction block — under a decidedly un-PC banner that reads “Auction, Take a wench for a bride.”

The auction will be replaced next year by a less offensive scene of pirates forcing the local townsfolk to give up their valuables. After all, who can be offended by a little pirate pilfering?

In the 62 years since Walt Disney welcomed his first visitors to Anaheim, Disneyland has sometimes struggled to adapt the founder’s version of fantasy with public sensibilities that differ from those of park visitors of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

On Tom Sawyer Island, the mock frontier rifles were removed along with the victim of an Indian arrow, who lay sprawled for years in front of a burning settler’s cabin.

An artist's rendering of the scene that will replace the bride auction in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. (Walt Disney Co.)

An artist’s rendering of the scene that will replace the bride auction in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. (Walt Disney Co.)

For several years, the skippers in the Jungle Cruise were not allowed to blast a fake revolver at the animatronic hippos in the river until visitor complaints forced Disney to re-arm the cruise ship captains and give them the green light to fire at will.

But the Pirates attraction, the last ride that Walt Disney himself helped design before he died in 1966, may have been reined in the most to conform to a more politically correct world — a tricky task given the ride’s original rowdy spirit.

Remember those scene of pirates chasing women throughout a pillaged town? In 1997, Disney put trays of food in the women’s hands so that it looked like the pirates are lusting after the food instead of the fleeing women in their flowing gowns.

Another scene that got pitched overboard showed a pirate holding up women’s lingerie while a frightened woman, apparently naked, hides in a nearby barrel.

“At Disney, their specialty is scrubbing everything to be squeaky clean and palatable,” said Rick Rothschild, a ride designer for Disney from 1978 until 2009. “That’s the Disney way.”

But Disney is not the only company that has had to change an attraction to avoid offending today’s guests. Read the rest of this entry »